New Delhi: Kerala government on Friday announced another Covid-19 package of Rs 20,000 crores, during the state Budget announcement.
Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal presenting his first Budget of the second Pinarayi Vijayan government said, “In the beginning of lockdown Kerala had announced 20,000 COVID package, but spent more than double.”
“A second COVID package of 20,000 crore, ” he said, “Of this 2200 crore for health and money directly for those who lost livelihood 8900 crores and financial resurgence subsidies for loans 8300 beneficiaries, he added.
The LDF government, during the latest Assembly poll, had announced an increment in pension is Rs 1,600 per month to Rs 2,500. The state disburses pensions to 60 lakh beneficiaries in Kerala.
On Covid-19 situation in the state, Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal, during his Budget speech, has instructed CHC, Taluk General hospitals in districts to set up isolation wards with at least 10 beds.
“This would cost an estimated expense of 3 crores for each centre. Funds to be taken from MLA funds,” he added.
“Each Medical College to have a separate ward to help treat and contain the spread of airborne diseases like Covid-19 19 and Ebola disease,” he added.
He expressed concern over the need to protect children from the expected third wave of Coronavirus infections and said that the state will increase the bed capacity of pediatric ICU wards.
“Need to strengthen treatment facilities for children anticipating the third wave, ” he said, “Bed capacity will be increased for pediatric ICU wards. In taluk hospitals, general hospitals, medical colleges where space is available, pediatric wards will be set up. Rs 25 crores will be allocated initially.”
On the issue of Oxygen supply in the state, necessary for Covid-19 treatment, Balagopal said that state government plans to set up 150 metric tonnes oxygen plant.
“For this 150 metric tonnes medical grade oxygen plant will be set up. A 1000 metric tonness capacity tank and for emergency transportation tankers will also be available. Rs 25 lakhs will be allocated for the initial stage of the project, he said.
The state government expects to move towards the tender process by September 14, 2021.